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Posts Tagged ‘chili peppers’

What if George and Boo Boo Were Chilis?

The world’s smallest chili pepper seemed to enjoy the attention at Guinness’s press event earlier this year.

Remember when Giant George and Boo Boo made national news? They met in New York City’s Central Park: the world’s largest living dog and the world’s smallest living dog according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Your Small Kitchen Garden remembers. The original story was so absurd (as in: Really? This received press coverage?), it got me thinking. What if Giant George and Boo Boo had been chili peppers?

World’s Largest Chili Meets World’s Smallest Chili

Have you heard of George and Boo Boo? They are a television sit com waiting to happen.

Giant George was a little shy when he first met Boo Boo. The two kept their distance for several minutes before warming up to each other.

Giant George is the world’s largest chili pepper. Boo Boo is the world’s smallest chili. To celebrate the latest issue of The Guinness Book of World Records, Giant George and Boo Boo met recently in central Pennsylvania.

Boo Boo is a fully-ripe Jalapeno pepper that stands just ¾ of an inch tall. Monster chili pepper Giant George stands over five inches. “Sure,” the peppers’ handler explains. “There are bigger chili peppers. But if Guinness had such a category, George would hold the world record for Hungarian Banana peppers growing in a flower pot on my deck.”

Amazingly, when they first met, Goliath George was more timid toward Boo Boo than Boo Boo was toward George.

The complete lack of media attention at the meetup of these two unique chili peppers left them to get acquainted. It took just a few minutes for Giant George to lighten up. Soon, the two chilies were sharing stories and telling jokes as though they’d known each other for years (chili pepper years).

By the time the two chilies parted, they had gotten very close and vowed that they’d get together again soon. I couldn’t help but point out: If Giant George had rolled over, Boo Boo would have been chili sauce—though not much.

When the world’s smallest chili pepper and the world’s largest chili pepper got together, they became Best Friends For Life. Later, the two met up with some neighborhood onions and tomatoes and made salsa.

 

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Autumn Shuts Down my Small Kitchen Garden

I had a Christmas cactus when I was a kid, and it never produced a blossom. The one in this photo started as a four-segment branch from my daughter’s plant just two years ago. It blossomed that first autumn, and it blossomed more last November. It’s about to put on a show unlike any I’ve seen a Christmas Cactus produce. The secret, I think, is to make sure the plant knows summer has ended; apparently, cooler days encourage the plant to blossom.

Though Your Small Kitchen Garden blog has been catching up with a backlog of posts that didn’t get written during the growing season, a few things have come up recently and I felt like sharing them.

Christmas Cactus Knows it’s Cold

It has nothing to do with kitchen gardening, but I’ve gotten a little excited about my Christmas cactus. This started two winters ago as three or four leaves broken off of my daughter’s plant. Even in its first year in my care the plant flowered, and last autumn it produced a couple of blossoms. This month the plant has produced several dozen buds– I’m told in response to the lowering temperature. It’s about to put on quite a show!

Do you have a Christmas cactus that never seems to blossom? Move it near a window—especially one in a room that you don’t heat thoroughly in winter. The plant responds to cooler days and nights by producing buds.

Container Gardening Lima Beans

A pair of lima bean pods hangs in front of a baluster below the handrail on my deck. Recently I wrote a guest post for a friend about growing lima beans in containers.

I grew lima beans on my deck this summer. I’d never before grown lima beans, and I was quite pleased with the experience. What’s more, I had the pleasure of being a guest blogger for my friend Kerry Michaels over at About.com’s Container Gardening where I explained how I set up my planter and how it worked out. Please have a look. While you’re at it, poke around a bit. Kerry writes about growing stuff in containers which is small-space gardening at its extreme.

The Final Harvest from my Small Kitchen Garden

One especially poignant task for me lately was spending a half hour harvesting the last of everything that looked edible in my small kitchen garden. We’ve had several frosts, one of them heavy enough to kill off the tomato, pepper, and winter squash plants. Still, fruits have held on and continued to ripen. But with November looming large, there was growing danger that we’d have cold enough to freeze the produce.

Most of what you see in my “final harvest” photo is peppers, but there are decent layers of green and semi-ripe tomatoes beneath them. I haven’t decided what to do with any of these, but if I don’t decide soon, enzymes will do the job for me and I’ll be adding the lot to my compost heap.

If I get myself in gear, I’ll preserve the season’s last chili peppers by canning, freezing, or dehydrating them. The semi-ripe tomatoes will finish ripening and end up in pasta sauce or curry, and the green tomatoes will end up as green tomato mincemeat for pies.

My gardening is far from finished. I’m still setting perennial herbs into a planting bed I created this summer, and I need to clean up my vegetable beds. There are trellises and stakes that I’d like to move into the garden shed before snow falls. Sadly, facing these tasks emphasizes for me just how much I despise yard work. I’m a kitchen gardener because my small kitchen garden produces better vegetables than I can buy anywhere… and because for an initial investment of about $30 each season, I manage to grow several hundred dollars worth of fruits and vegetables.

By October, my excitement for gardening has worn away and I’m ready to get on with winter. Fortunately, winter recharges me and I emerge from it full of energy and enthusiasm for the next season’s kitchen garden.

 

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